It’s not a lack of talent that Nashville suffers from. It’s figuring out how to shuffle the best talent to the front. Like another notable songwriter, Chris Stapleton—who paid his fair share of dues writing for others when he had a voice and a message that could resonate much deeper than what was rising in the mainstream, Caitlyn Smith is a relevant and powerful voice ready and warmed up in the batter’s box.
From the “If 90% of mainstream country music sucks, then 10% of it must be good” file, songwriter and performer Jon Pardi has just released an EP called The B-Sides 2011-2014 through Capitol Nashville, and it’s not a bad listen at all. Billed as a tide over for fans until a new album is ready to go, the release includes what was left when the final track listing was accumulated for his January 2014 debut.
Like rolling Buick sedans off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan one after another, day after day, year after year, not stopping to take breaks or reveling in little victories, but winning fans over one at a time, night after night, tour after tour in America’s derelict honky tonks until the word of mouth grew into a rumble, the crowds went from nearly empty to nut to butt, Whitey Morgan is now like a locomotive.
Sam Hunt’s “House Party” is cultural appropriation for commercial enterprise of the highest order. It isn’t enough that mainstream country music is raping its own culture, now it’s got to ooze its filthy mandibles into a different sector of society and make a mockery of someone else’s too. Safe white America’s appetite for subjugating other people’s art forms in its insatiable consumerism binge is as embarrassing as it is destructive.
It’s not that The Honeycutters’ previous projects undercut Platt’s abilities by any stretch, but Me Oh My is the 14-song testament that you sense could be the centerpiece of her career when it’s all said and done. And though you might think of Amanda Platt as a songwriter first and then a singer, when she does give herself a chance to step out, she shows herself more than just capable.
No matter how many banjos, fiddles, and mandolins you infuse in the music, a song from Steven Tyler is not going to be country, because Steven Tyler is not country. Just like it doesn’t matter that Willie Nelson never uses fiddles, banjos, or mandolins in his music. He couldn’t stop from making a country song even if he tried. But unfortunately we can’t stop Steven Tyler from trying to make country music.
Written by Keith with Bobby Pinson, the song tries to do something similar to “Drunk Americans,” which is make a statement about the current climate of society. Cutting completely against the grain of current country trends, as opposed to glorifying small town life as this idyllic full-time party of constant bonfire soirees beside bodies of water down dirt roads for bored suburbanites to live vicariously through…
Traditional Texas country with a little bit of a Bakersfield spark is what Them Duqaines are all about. Rich with excellent guitar work, great singing, and those little elements of spice that make Texas country unique like accordion, backing chorus singers, and even saxophone, Them Duqaines capture an authentic country spirit that makes you go, “Yes, this is what I’ve been looking for!”
The truth is Mumford & Sons were in an impossible situation. And it wasn’t completely their fault. As the poster boys for the over-saturation of string bands in the early part of this decade, it was their destiny to have their ox gored by the popular consciousness. As soon as the humor in these bands with their little mandolins and banjos, suspenders and paperboy hats reached apex proportions in the zeitgeist, it was over.
One of the funniest moments of the “Country Boy Song” video was when Earl Dibbles comes up on a couple of pastel-wearing “city boys” stuck on the side of the road in an imported compact sedan. It was so funny the first time and was mentioned in the lyrics of “Country Boy Song,” why not elaborate on it? That’s what Earl Dibbles Jr. does on “City Boy Stuck.”
As a two-piece duo that isn’t prone to veering too much off their path or putting any acrobatics into their music to gain attention, there will always be a certain capacity to the crowd it will draw. But Such Jubilee adds to the sweet little legacy of music that doesn’t just set heads to bobbing and limbs twitching, but fills the spirit with a light that glows long after the music ceases.
It’s a national embarrassment that an artist, singer, and songwriter like Chris Stapleton is just now getting his feet onto the ground floor of stardom while the morons he’s penning super hits for are out there starring in their own prime time televised specials. Forget the reams and reams of songwriting credits Stapleton’s accrued for a second; this dude can sing the pants off of anyone else.
Yelawolf has just released one of the biggest albums in American music at the moment. Love Story came in at #3 on the Billboard Top 200 last week, and where Radioactive flopped, Love Story has bounced. Love Story has some serious ties to country music that can’t go overlooked.
Alaska via east Nashville is not a narrative you normally see play out in the itineraries of country records. But who would question whether the wilds of Alaska have enough wide open spaces, scenic vistas, or snarly honky tonks and hard times to inspire a good country song? Nobody would after listening to Todd Grebe & Cold Country’s new record Citizen.
So the “Wet Cigarette of Country Music” wants to dip his toes into the sharky waters of country music radio again, huh? Well I guess it couldn’t be any worse than what’s already there. Kid Rock must have led the most idyllic, kick ass adolescence and young adulthood imaginable if you go by the testimony […]
Earlier this year, the news came out about Love & Theft really getting the shaft from their RCA label in Nashville. The story was they got dropped because they weren’t Bro-Country. They were told that in as many words. And even worse, it happened when they had masters sitting on a shelf with the label, so they were left in a lurch like so many major label acts are when the ax falls.
Music is not a skills competition. This isn’t the decathlon. They don’t hand out Grammy Awards for the band that can play songs from the most genres. They give Grammys to the artists who steady themselves and prove they are the best in a given musical discipline. I’ll give credit to the backing band of Weird Al for their alacrity. With the Zac Brown Band, I just want to hear good songs.
For those tragic songphiles who were done with popular music by late adolescence, started rummaging through their parents’ record collections and taking suggestions from older siblings and cousins about what was cool, and seem to be engaged in a lifelong pursuit of the essence of the listening experience—this is the manna, this is the potent stuff that still makes you feel like a listening virgin.
Ringling Road is a vibrant and well-written pronouncement of William Clark Green’s arrival as one of the new creative leaders of the next generation of country. The sensibilities to appeal to a big audience are there, but so are the country roots, and the depth of songwriting to where he can draw in both the passive toe-tappers and die hard song junkies.
As the first single from his currently-unnamed sophomore album, Eldredge dons an expensive suit and does his best Justin Timberlake impression as he sips on a Scotch and lets the impossibly-hot Rachel Hilbert playing nurse feel him up. Because what could be more country than that? Oh, and there’s a song mixed in there somewhere too called “Lose My Mind.” It’s about a hot girl that’s so hot it makes him crazy.